Cross’ firing occurred hours after she called Florida “the dick of the country” on Comedy Central. But the whole thing stinks of caving to right-wing racists.
November 5, 2022

Mediaite suggests Cross’ remarks about Florida, which were made Thursday night on Comedy Central’s Hell of a Week with Charlamagne Tha God, not MSNBC, were the final straw for her network bosses. She was fired Friday morning:

A source familiar with the decision told Mediaite that comments and coverage from Cross did not adhere to MSNBC’s standards. The source said she was repeatedly told this by the network. They added said this has been an ongoing issue, and concerns have been addressed multiple times.

Variety reports, “There has been speculation that Cross’ relationship with MSNBC was becoming frayed, according to two [sources], with executives at the network growing concerned about the anchor’s willingness to address statements made by cable-news hosts on other networks and indulging in commentary executives felt did not meet the standards of MSNBC or NBC News.”

What is meant by “willingness to address statements by cable-news hosts on other networks” is probably Cross’ response to the bigoted attacks on her by the likes of Tucker Carlson, Fox’s White Supremacist in Chief, e.g.. Or maybe her withering comments about Megyn Kelly’s racism.

And when Variety says the network execs were “growing concerned” about Cross’ commentary, I suspect they really meant they were growing concerned about right-wing vitriol.

So, if MSNBC execs are using Cross’ comments on Comedy Central as a reason for her sudden firing, that looks a lot more like a fig leaf than a real justification.

Yes, Cross used somewhat crude language, but she was half-seriously responding to a question about which of four battleground states Democrats should let go of. She made the comments after another panelist said he wants Herschel Walker to win because he and the death of democracy are comedy gold. That shows you the tenor of the conversation.

CROSS: I say Florida literally looks like the dick of the country. So let’s get rid of Florida. Ron…
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Are you saying castrate the dick of the country?
CROSS: Seriously, let’s castrate Florida. Here’s the problem, Ron DeStupid, Ron DeSantis, whatever you want to call Florida Man, he is so problematic. The people there passed Amendment Four, which gave returning citizens, those formerly incarcerated, the right to vote. He instituted a poll tax. He has done everything he can to keep Black and brown people from the ballot. He traffics in stupidity and ignorance and I just think they are a problem for the rest of the country. Let’s get them out.

The audience applauded.

Sure, it’s possible Cross was just impossible to deal with but this smacks of surrendering to right-wing bullies. Especially since, according to Variety, she was popular with Black viewers, especially female Black viewers. Mediaite reported that her Cross Connection show was the highest-rated weekend show on MSNBC.

I can assure you that whatever the reason for Cross’ abrupt departure, the right-wing will claim a Black scalp and celebrate.

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